Business Outlook: The Federal Reverve’s Predictions; Good News for Retailers

Based on activity among its member institutions, the Federal Reserve has released its predictions on which parts of the country are likely to see a rise, or a drop, in business.

The predictions , which come out of the Fed’s “Beige Book”, break down economic conditions in the 12 Federal Reserve Bank districts marked by cities. When the economic conditions show signs of increase, that’s usually followed by an increase in jobs.

Some highlights from the report:

  • The New York, Cleveland, Kansas City, MO, and San Francisco regions are showing “signs of stabilization.”
  • Chicago and St. Louis reported that the pace of economic decline appeared to be “moderating.”
  • Boston, Philadelphia, Richmond, Atlanta and Dallas described activity as “slow,” “subdued” or “weak.”
  • Minneapolis was the only region that indicated its downward slide in economic activity had worsened.

That’s the overall picture. The Fed also breaks down activity in economic sectors. For instance:

  • Boston, Kansas City and San Francisco reported retail activity described as “modest increases or less negative.”
  • Philadelphia, Atlanta, St. Louis, New York and Dallas regions reported “flat or mixed sales.” The remaining Fed regions described retail sales as “soft.”
  • Auto sales were mixed; travel and tourism was down almost across the board.
  • For manufacturing, Richmond, Chicago and Kansas City showed some improvement. St. Louis and Dallas said the rate of decline in factory activity is moderating. The Philadelphia and Minneapolis regions saw manufacturing activity drop, while the rest of the regions described activity at “low levels.”
  • Residential real estate remained “soft” in most Fed regions, and commercial real estate dropped.

The implication is that retail sales, which include eyeglass sales, are showing signs of recovery in most parts of the counrty.

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About Arthur De Gennaro

My friends call me Art. Welcome to my blog. In this space you’ll find information and comments on the ophthalmology world, the optical industry, the hearing industry and medical practice management. My intent is to provide information you can use to improve your business and your own performance. Please visit often and feel free to join the discussions by leaving comments.

You can learn more about me and my consulting company, Arthur De Gennaro & Associates, LLC by visiting my web site www.adegennaro.com

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August 2009

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